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GHSA could return to six classifications in 2024-25, will vote April 11

The Georgia High School Association could return to six classifications as soon as the 2024-25 school year.

The executive committee will vote April 11 on a proposal that would return the GHSA to six classifications while maintaining the Division 1 and Division 2 split in Class 1A. The GHSA board of trustees voted 12-0 earlier this month to recommend the proposal.

The move is designed to address travel concerns that have grown more dire since 17 schools elected to break from the organization. Pinecrest Academy announced earlier this month its intention to join the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools this fall.

“Travel comes up time and time again,” GHSA executive director Robin Hines said March 16 during a board of trustees meeting. “And losing 17 schools did not help that issue. The other problem was the multiplier and how it is applied. I heard that over and over from state legislators. So I would like us now to commit to going back to six classifications the next time we reclassify, which will put more teams in each region and help with travel. 

The GHSA created Class 7A in 2016 to reduce a widening attendance gap between the largest and smallest schools in Class 6A. 

According to 2021 enrollment numbers, Brookwood [3,850] is the largest school in Class 7A. Forsyth Central [2,383], Denmark [2,391], Lambert [2,941], South Forsyth [2,355] and West Forsyth [2,406] compete in Class 7A, while North Forsyth [2,151] was reclassified to Class 6A in November.

Among other proposals the committee will address are:

⁠— A five-day tryout period in the spring for girls flag football.

⁠— Expansion to three lacrosse playoff divisions, including a 24-team bracket in Class 1A-4A, a 32-team bracket in Class 5A-6A, and a 16-team bracket in Class 7A.

⁠— Allowing member private and charter schools to select a public school attendance zone within their county of residence that best reflects its student population for reclassification purposes.

⁠— Increase the number of playing dates in girls wrestling from six to 20 beginning in 2022.

⁠— Increase the number of weight classes in girls wrestling from 10 to 14.

⁠— Levy $2 fee for each participating wrestler at the state traditional meet to help offset cost of rental and cleanup of facility. 

Click here for full agenda of April 11 executive committee meeting.